The venue disaster turned miracle: Julie & Chris' rebooked dinosaur NYC wedding

May 1 | offbeatbride  
Photos by: Wedding Pros
Dinosaur wedding via @offbeatbride
Photos by Ashlee Salomon, Wedding Pros

The Offbeat Bride: Julie, Offbeat Bride Tribe member

Her offbeat partner: Chris

Date and location of wedding: Deity, Brooklyn, NY — May 25, 2014

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We wanted our wedding to be a reflection of us. Our boutonnieres and bouquets were paper flowers that were made specifically for the person wearing them (i.e. my friend who is a nurse practitioner had her bouquet made Grey's Anatomy-themed).

Dinosaur wedding via @offbeatbride

Dinosaur wedding via @offbeatbride

Dinosaur wedding via @offbeatbride

Chris likes to refer to my arms as "t-rex like" so we wanted to incorporate that into our wedding, hence Mona the Dinosaur, the t-rex ring bear, and the lollipop favors. Chris designed our save-the-date comics which were then turned into stickers for our wine bottle centerpieces.

Dinosaur wedding via @offbeatbride

Dinosaur wedding via @offbeatbride

We wrote our own vows, with jokes about Nell (from the movie Nell) and caring for each other when we're old and disabled (like The IT Crowd).

Dinosaur wedding via @offbeatbride

Dinosaur wedding via @offbeatbride

Our cake toppers featured us in our favorite team jerseys (FC Barcelona and the Tampa Bay [Devil] Rays). We highlighted desserts we love and wanted a fun, relaxed atmosphere.

Dinosaur wedding via @offbeatbride

Dinosaur wedding via @offbeatbride

Dinosaur wedding via @offbeatbride

Tell us about the ceremony:
Our friend, Leighann, who introduced us and is ordained in NY state, officiated. She was so awesome and did such a good job. We wouldn't have wanted anyone else to perform our ceremony. Chris and I actually really first got to know each other at her wedding, where I was the officiant and he was a reader, so having her perform our wedding was great.

My cousin, Kelly, and Chris' old roommate, Nate, did a reading of "A Lovely, Lovely Love Story." I bought it for Chris on our first dating anniversary, mainly because of the dinosaurs.

Our friend (we often call her our daughter), Jen, read Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall's decision from "Goodridge vs. Department of Health."

We borrowed a line from an excellent Offbeat Bride wedding we read earlier this year that featured the line, "And so as Beyonce, the patron saint of marriage said, if you like it, you should put a ring on it and so you shall." The audience erupted with laughter.

Dinosaur wedding via @offbeatbride

We read our own vows. Some highlights included, "I will love you, even when you act like Nell, from the movie Nell," and "You've seen me at my worst and I know you've seen at my best because I'm at my best when I'm with you." We ended with a kiss and a fist bump then danced down the aisle to "Higher and Higher."

Dinosaur wedding via @offbeatbride

Dinosaur wedding via @offbeatbride

Dinosaur wedding via @offbeatbride

Dinosaur wedding via @offbeatbride

Our biggest challenge:
Our original venue owner abruptly shut the doors and took all our money 17 days before our wedding. I had a fairly emotional breakdown (it included crying at a little boy's bar mitzvah while looking at venues) but between Chris' positive attitude, our amazing new reBar ex-brides and grooms community, our fantastic friends and family and Caio and Kristine from Deity (who saved the day), we had what probably turned out to be an even better wedding than we originally planned. We can't thank everyone at Deity enough, we'll always be grateful to them for helping us put together such an amazing wedding in less than two weeks.

My favorite moment:
For me, it was when Chris read his vows. He even referenced our favorite LIRR conductor, who was clearly hammered one evening and yelled over the intercom, "Attention to the brake man; you… me… yeaaahhhh." Chris ended his vows with, "In the words of our favorite LIRR conductor: you, me, yeaaaahhh."

Dinosaur wedding via @offbeatbride

Dinosaur wedding via @offbeatbride

Dinosaur wedding via @offbeatbride

Dinosaur wedding via @offbeatbride

My funniest moment:
Chris and his mom decided to turn their mother/son dance into a medley. It started out with "When You Wish Upon A Star," segued into "(I Wanna) Rock and Roll All Night," then turned into "Ninja Rap" (yes, from The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II), and finished with "Fish Heads." Watching Chris and his mom booty dance was something I will never forget.

Dinosaur wedding via @offbeatbride

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?
Please consider getting wedding insurance. It may seem stupid and a waste but please, if you take anything away from this, please consider it. We'll likely never see a cent back from the all-inclusive wedding venue we had paid for in full that was stolen (remember, it closed just a couple weeks before the wedding). You never know what could happen over the course of an engagement.

Dinosaur wedding via @offbeatbride

Dinosaur wedding via @offbeatbride

Dinosaur wedding via @offbeatbride

Dinosaur wedding via @offbeatbride

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

  • Photography: Ashlee Salomon, Wedding Pros
  • Cake: My Halal Tummy — Amirah stepped up for us in a big way when she stepped in and agreed to make our cake a week before our wedding. It was a three-tiered cake, with the bottom being chocolate Cocoa Puffss, the middle being banana's foster with caramel, and the top being apple cinnamon with Cheerios.
  • Officiant: Sister Leighann Starkey
  • Mantilla: Alisa Brides
  • Bridesmaid dresses: ModCloth
  • Bride's earrings: Bauble Bar
  • Bride's shoe flowers: Hair Flowers Atelier
  • Bridal party hair and makeup: Parlor
  • Getting ready robes: Silk and More
  • Venue (ceremony space, reception, and catering): Deity

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  1. this was one of the most fun weddings ever! It was like a Phoenix rising from the rebar disaster to a magnificent experience. Their love along with family and friends made it wonderful. The Diety (Ciao and Kristine) were amazing. The wedding was upstairs -the setting was beautiful after we went downstairs for a full bar and delicious cocktails. We were then called upstairs and they had quickly transformed the room for dining. It was fantastic, there was plenty of room for the 100 family and friends, food was yummy-tender steaks, salad et al with good wines. Acoustics in the room were gentle (you could talk to the people at your table, no echo, and you could converse with people around you without shouting. Dinner was a relaxing enjoyable event. We then went downstairs for raw raucous family dancing, cake and general wedding /family/friends shenanigans. It was a blast! The Deity made this possible. They worked hard to make Chris and Julie's dream wedding a reality. Several family members were stunned when they discovered that the wedding had been pulled together in 2 weeks. Thank you Ciao, Kristine and everyone at the Deity for helping my children live their dream!!!!

    5 agree
    • Thanks Mom! It was our absolute pleasure. Julie & Chris will forever be in our hearts not just for the unfortunate Rebar situation, but mostly for the fantastic people they are!
      Kristine & Caio (of Deity)

      1 agrees
  2. Wait… the US doesn't have Crunchies?? They are So Good (Canada here).
    The bride looks so gorgeous, the couple looks so so happy, and I am so happy you got more than you could have asked for in your day.

    1 agrees
    • It's a crime that Crunchies aren't available in the US . And they're now even harder to find (thanks, Hershey). Thanks for the kind words, we really had a fabulous day. Couldn't have asked for anything better.

      1 agrees
  3. What a gorgeous wedding. The dress. The veil. The dinosaurs. The cake! Oh the cake is a mix of elegance and playfulness. Love it! Congrats you two.

    1 agrees
  4. I remember seeing the article about reBar closing suddenly and my heart broke for everyone who had to go through that! I'm SO GLAD that this full wedding could be featured so we can all see what a magnificent event can emerge from such a crisis! What a spectacular wedding! I love the T-Rex details and the custom paper flowers for each person and how the bride and groom are just grinning with love and excitement in every photo. Congrats!

    2 agree

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